Trump just dropped the hammer on Silicon Valley's efforts to hire abroad

Trump just dropped the hammer on Silicon Valley's efforts to hire abroad
PHOTO: AFP

Tech giants fight for talented software engineers. To help them in their quest to be the best place to work (or rather, create the biggest money-making machine), these tech companies look abroad for talent.

A new bill passed over the weekend includes H-1B guidelines that suggest computer programmers are no longer presumed to be eligible. Applicants must now submit additional evidence in their application that prove the jobs are complex and specialised and require looking abroad.

Starting Monday, companies can apply for H-1B visas in an annual lottery process. The bill attempts to limit the ability for companies to "employ lower-paid, lower-level computer workers." Yet, that isn't the reaction it's getting from foreign workers in the tech community:

But supporters of the actions that Trump promised to fulfil during his campaign seem pleased:

This action doesn't just affect tech companies and computer programmers, but those professions make up a decent portion of H-1B applicants. In 2015, computer programmers were 12 per cent of all H-1B applicants approved by the Department of Labor.

Overall, the issue is sensitive for Silicon Valley. It's critical for tech giants to hire foreign workers to serve in all aspects of the business.

But the argument goes in favour of US-based companies hiring at home. When these companies hire foreign workers, there needs to be a good reason, per this policy. That's why the press release is titled, "Putting American Workers First."

Compete America suggested that more congressional action should take place to improve the H-1B system in general. "Congress needs to reform our highly skilled immigration system to create the certainty and confidence US employers, US workers, and foreign professionals deserve," Corley's statement continued.

Read the full article here.


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